In the digital age, businesses must stay ahead by utilising cutting-edge technology. One key aspect to consider is high-speed internet, which can greatly impact your ability to work efficiently, access information, and engage in leisure activities. However, the abundance of available internet options can be overwhelming, particularly when choosing between shared and dedicated circuits.
Dedicated circuits offer exclusive access to the internet connection infrastructure, while shared circuits mean that you and your neighbours use the same infrastructure. Both circuits enable internet connectivity, but the connection quality differs significantly. As a business owner, it is important to consider which type of circuit best suits your needs.
In this article, we will discuss how the dedicated internet differs from the non-dedicated internet.
What Is A Dedicated Internet Connection?
Dedicated internet access (DIA) agreements establish a private connection between an ISP and the customer’s premises, ensuring that the bandwidth purchased is exclusively for the customer’s use. Since no other users share the connection, the speed advertised is typically the speed received.
DIA services also tend to provide symmetrical speeds, meaning the upload and download speeds are the same. It is particularly important for those who need to transfer files in both directions, use remote office connections, access cloud services (including a VoIP telephone system), or use video conferencing. Most shared internet access (SIA) services offer inferior upload speeds, which can significantly impact productivity. DIA services have fewer limitations, allowing for continuous file transfers, smoother audio and video streaming, and reliable cloud connectivity.
Although start-ups and small businesses may not be able to commit to this level of spending in the early stages, for others, it is a logical decision to ensure reliable and consistent bandwidth speeds, guaranteed uptime, maximum productivity, and prioritised technical support. It is delivered by a business-focused account management team and backed up with a robust service level agreement. DIA is a valuable investment compared to the alternative if the funds are available.
What Is A Shared Internet Connection?
Shared internet access (SIA) is a cost-saving model where multiple users share a single internet connection. SIA providers often market their services based on advertised bandwidth speeds, typically the maximum possible speeds, but can be impacted by the number of users simultaneously accessing the connection. In practice, SIA can result in slower speeds and performance issues when many users are online at the same time.
While this model is generally suitable for residential broadband, where users typically engage in non-critical online activities, it may not be appropriate for business users who require consistent and reliable internet access. Businesses may experience productivity issues due to fluctuating performance levels and inadequate technical support. Some companies address this issue by over-purchasing bandwidth, but this may not guarantee reliable performance.
Dedicated Internet VS Shared Internet
These two internet connections differ from each other in many ways. We point out the following differences:
Now let’s discuss these points in detail:
Dedicated internet connections are significantly faster than shared circuits. Shared circuits are inherently slower, and the available bandwidth may be less than advertised as multiple users share the same connection.
To account for this shared usage, providers typically offer a portion of their network’s total potential demand, assuming not all users will use their maximum bandwidth simultaneously. This approach can cause slow speeds and connection issues during peak usage, which may not be apparent to users under normal circumstances.
Dedicated circuits solve this problem by avoiding the need for shared usage altogether. As a result, dedicated internet connections provide users with a more reliable and faster internet experience.
In addition to faster speeds, dedicated internet circuits offer more reliable service compared to shared circuits.
Shared circuits can be unstable due to the split bandwidth among multiple subscribers, resulting in fluctuating performance. In contrast, dedicated circuits provide a consistent and stable data stream, making them the preferred option for businesses requiring reliable internet connectivity for solutions sensitive to internet slowdowns.
For example, businesses that rely on VOIP for customer communication require a steady connection to avoid lagging calls. Cloud services or high-bandwidth solutions also benefit from dedicated circuits to ensure consistent and dependable performance.
Shared and dedicated internet circuits differ not only in how they divide bandwidth but also in their availability.
Shared circuits typically offer an asynchronous connection, which means that if you use wireless or cable, your download speed will be faster than your upload speed. Additionally, your upload speed may not be guaranteed, and your contract may include language such as “up to 20 Mbps upload.
In contrast, dedicated circuits provide synchronous internet connections with the same upload and download speed. It makes managing a business easier and provides a more reliable and consistent connection for activities such as video conferencing, file sharing, and other collaborative work.
Shared circuits are generally more cost-effective than dedicated circuits, one area where they have an advantage.
Cost is undoubtedly an essential factor to consider when choosing an internet contract. However, keeping productivity and efficiency in mind is crucial when deciding whether to opt for a shared or dedicated circuit.
While dedicated circuits have historically been more expensive, as the technology becomes more widespread, their cost is decreasing, and they may become more affordable. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the benefits and costs of both options to determine which one makes the most sense for your business needs.
Based on the information presented above, dedicated circuits are generally the superior option for most businesses, with two exceptions.
The first exception is small businesses with fewer than 20 users, and the second is businesses with minimal internet needs.
For most organisations, shared connections are inadequate and may result in unpredictable performance levels that could negatively impact productivity.
Finding The Right Connectivity Solution For Your Business
Dedicated circuits offer several advantages, including speed, reliability, and availability, but they can be more expensive than shared circuits.
While shared connections may be priced more competitively, they are not the best option for businesses that require a stable and reliable connection for mission-critical solutions.
A dedicated internet connection is essential to ensure high performance and productivity if your business relies on activities such as VOIP, video conferencing, or accessing cloud data.